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Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Off-road vehicle (ORV) use for swamp buggies, street legal 4x4s, ATVs, and UTVs will resume within Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, August 1, 2014. This will mark the end of the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure.
When the 60-day closure is lifted only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational ORV use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60 days. This closure will be made pursuant to Executive Orders 11644 and 11989, 36 CFR 1.5(a), and the Final Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in order to facilitate the National Park Service efforts to resolve a lawsuit brought against the agency related to the process in which the secondary trails were selected and analyzed for inclusion into the designated trail network.
The secondary trails are being analyzed in an environmental review currently being undertaken by the NPS. This current review effort will more clearly identify suitable trails that may be included within the designated trail network. Information on this review process can be found by clicking here.
This closure does not affect landowner's permitted trails that provide access to their private property for themselves, their guests, or their lessees.
During this closure action, a network of primary designated trails will remain open. This network of trails will include:
- Bear Island Unit: 21 miles of primary ORV trails open to street legal 4x4s, swamp buggies, ATVs, and UTVs.
- Turner River Unit: 126 miles of primary ORV trails open to swamp buggies, ATVs, and UTVs.
- Corn Dance Unit: 65 miles of primary ORV trails open to swamp buggies, ATVs, and UTVs.
- Zone-2: six miles of primary ORV trails open to swamp buggies, ATVs, and UTVs.
- Zone-3: three miles of primary ORV trails open to swamp buggies, ATVs, and UTVs.
- Zone-4: 57 miles of primary ORV trails open to airboats.
The most recent information on trails within each unit of the Preserve can be found by clicking here.